Current Events and the Psychology of Politics
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Feb 21st, 2011

Summary: Raymond Allen Davis, an American jailed in Pakistan for the fatal shooting of two armed men, was secretly working for the CIA and scouting a neighborhood when he was arrested — a disclosure likely to further frustrate U.S. government efforts to free the man and strain relations between two countries partnered in a fragile alliance in the war on terror. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on February 21, 2010, Aubrey Immelman reported that Nancy Carver of Rice, Minn., restored her shoreline on Little Rock Lake to native flowers and grasses and helped educate her neighbors about the importance of shoreline restoration for improving water quality.


Jan 30th, 2011

Summary: Islamic leaders rallied at least 15,000 people against an American consular official arrested in the shooting deaths of two Pakistanis and warned the government not to cave in to U.S. pressure to release the man, who has been named as Raymond Allen Davis. … Kandahar deputy governor assassinated in Afghanistan. … Deadly Kabul grocery store bombing targeted Xe (Blackwater) employee. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on January 30, 2010, Aubrey Immelman reported that al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, in a new audiotape, called for the world to boycott American goods and the U.S. dollar, blaming the United States and other industrialized countries for global warming.



Summary: A report by Harvard University fellow Matt Waldman, published by the London School of Economics, asserts that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) not only funds and trains Taliban fighters in Afghanistan but is officially represented on the movement’s leadership council, giving it significant influence over operations. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on June 13, 2009 Aubrey Immelman featured the daily summary of security developments in Afghanistan, as reported by Reuters.



Summary: The fallout from a three-day terrorist rampage that killed nearly 200 people in Mumbai threatens to unravel India’s improving ties with Pakistan and prompted the resignation of India’s security minister. … Iraq’s influential Shi’ite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani reportedly has reservations about a status-of-forces allowing U.S. troops to stay in the country until the end of 2011, but is leaving it up to politicians to decide the value of the security pact.


Nov 29th, 2008

Summary: A rocket attack on a U.N. compound in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone has killed two foreigners and wounded 15. … A suicide bomber struck Shiite worshippers at a mosque run by followers of anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, killing at least 12 people, a day after Iraqi lawmakers approved a status-of-forces agreement with the Bush administration. … The Iraqi parliament’s approval of a security pact with the U.S. has propelled Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki into a position of strength unsurpassed among Iraqi political leaders since the fall of Saddam Hussein; however, it has also set the stage for a power struggle in the run-up to the 2010 Iraqi elections, which may weaken Maliki’s dominance.


Nov 28th, 2008

Summary: Al-Qaida’s second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, said in an Internet video the U.S. financial crisis was caused by Washington’s military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan and taxpayers were paying the price. … Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has emerged as a nationalist strongman after reaching a status-of-forces agreement with the Bush administration requiring U.S. forces to withdraw from Iraq by the end of 2011.